Thursday: Compassion

Pray: Begin by making the sign of the cross and calling upon God’s name.

From God to us, from death to life, from me to you …
in the name of the Father, and of the Son + and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Holy God, we live in a world of people who are struggling and hurting. Let us be people who do not hurt others, but help them in all their needs, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Listen:  Listen carefully as the Bible story is read in the form of a rhyme.

Praying, Peter closed his eyes
And he had a big surprise!
God sent him a vision sweet,
Showing foods that he could eat.

Then a voice said, “These are clean.”
Peter thought, “What could this mean?”
But just then there came some men,
Who opened Peter’s eyes again.

These three men, they were not Jews,
But they were ones the Lord did choose.
They were clean in God’s own eyes,
when that day they were baptized!

Engage: Talk about the Bible by having parents respond to children’s questions.

Child: Was there ever a time when you felt icky because you were not clean? What was that like?

Child: Why do you think that God wants us to be clean inside and out? How does God do that for us?

Affirm: Pray for God to put his Word into action in your daily life.

Holy God, we thank you that by your mercy and forgiveness you make us clean. Help us not to look down on others because of who they are or where they come from, but help us to reach out with love and compassion, especially for those in need. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Have each person in the family bless one another with these words.

May the Holy Spirit give you the compassion to serve in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Wednesday: Mercy

Pray:  Begin by making the sign of the cross and calling upon God’s name.

From God to us, from death to life, from me to you … in the name of the Father, and of the Son + and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Holy God, fill us with the gift of your Spirit, that we would hear your Word and know your holy will for us, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Listen:  Listen carefully as these verses from the Bible are read aloud.

Acts 2:2-4
Suddenly there was a noise from heaven like the sound of a mighty wind! It filled the house where they were meeting. Then they saw what looked like fiery tongues moving in all directions, and a tongue came and settled on each person there. The Holy Spirit took control of everyone, and they began speaking whatever languages the Spirit let them speak. (CEV)

Engage: Talk about the Bible by having parents respond to children’s questions.

Child: Do you think the disciples were afraid to talk in front of the crowds? What gave them the courage to do it?

Child: In what ways does God communicate with us?  How does that give us courage?

Affirm: Pray for God to put his Word into action in your daily life.

Holy God you come to us in your holy Word, and by the power of your Holy Spirit you help us to understand so much more than we would ever be able to on our own. Grant that we would have open ears and hearts to listen. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Have each person in the family bless one another with these words.

May the Lord grant you grace, mercy, and peace this day and always. Amen.

In this center section of Holy Families website, you will find our daily Scripture and Prayer resource for families. The current day will always be at the top (see below). If you are new and would like a little help getting started with "Holy Family Time" -- download this free PDF: Holy Family Time "How To" Guide for more information.

We are excited to be approaching the official release of the Holy Families initiative! The printed and downloadable studies are finished, and the website and video series are being given some finishing touches.

Congregations of the NALC will be receiving in the mail this month a free sample edition of the Bible Study "In the Luther Household" and the accompanying Leader's Guide, courtesy of the NALC and the Thrivent Foundation.

The daily devotional resource "Holy Family Time" will begin being posted on this website the week after Easter. Come on back!

When the Holy Families website officially comes online the week after Easter 2017, this is the spot on the site -- front and center -- where you will find the daily Scripture and Prayer resource for use in the home by families, called "Holy Family Time." The resource can be accessed on computer, tablet, or phone.

Until then, as the Holy Families website continues to be developed, feel free to make use of the articles and links that are available below or accessed through the menus above. Please check back for more to come!

In the evening, before you go to bed, make the sign of the cross and say: “In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.” (Luther's Small Catechism)

Built into the design of the Holy Families daily devotional resource, we will be using the sign of the cross and the name of the Triune God as the invocation for daily family prayer.  Broken down into three distinct motions, this sign will also serve as the structure for these family prayers, giving children a repeatable memory device for each day's devotions.

Motion 1: From God to Us
The first motion in the cross represents the vertical dimension of faith, from God to us. Our Lord is a God who takes the initiative by coming into our lives through his Word. Lutherans affirm that in faith and worship, the primary direction of action is from God to us. The down-stroke of the cross is where our prayers begin, as God opens our hearts and minds to his Word, as the Spirit himself intercedes for us in prayer (Romans 8:26-27).

Motion 2: From Death to Life
Between the vertical and horizontal dimensions of our faith is the center in Jesus Christ, and his death and resurrection for our sake. This is the "tentatio" that Luther often spoke of (Latin for "struggle"), where our sinful self is put to death and we are daily raised to new life. Notice that you cannot make the sign of the cross without the connecting "J" that holds the vertical and horizontal dimension together.  By centering our prayer in this motion from death to life, we live out calling of Jesus, that "repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name..." (Luke 24:47).

Motion 3: From Me to You
The horizontal dimension of the cross reminds us of how the fruit of our faith expresses itself in love for the neighbor. "What you have done for the least of these, my brothers and sisters, you have done it for me," Jesus says (Matthew 25:40). Crossing the center once again, we get to proclaim the grace and mercy of Christ to our own family members, as we commend them into the love and care of God.

As part of the Holy Families initiative Daily Encounter with the Word, this three-motion cross will serve as the structure for the daily prayer resources that will be provided on this page, helping families to make time in Scripture and Prayer a part of their daily routine.

Note: We are still some time away from the official introduction of the Holy Families devotional and study resources, to be released in the Spring of 2017. But we will continue to use this test site as a place to give you a peek into things to come!